A strategy of Re-imagining Libraries 2012-16.
We will establish connections and processes to effectively collect the digital record of the community, so that people find using libraries increasingly easy and intuitive, and so that digital content is preserved for the future.
Personal messages and electronic files are the archival record of the 21st Century; CAD drawings are our architectural plans; photographic groups on picture sharing sites are today’s family albums; research data is on a server or a laptop or in a data archive; a vital scientific report will be published online; political commentary is on a blog or in the comments-stream of a media website; party invitations are sent via social media; maps showing the growth of urban areas are on a GPS device or phone. In ten or even five years, these formats will almost certainly be different. Digital collecting is increasing at a vast rate and a key challenge for libraries.
We are developing systems to collect this digital record, recognising that we must be selective but also capture the story of our lives before the traces disappear. Archiving websites and collecting born-digital materials will record our lives for the future. People expect information to be online. Once collected, it must be preserved and made accessible for the long-term.
NSLA libraries are working together to establish the infrastructure for effective digital preservation so that we will be able to provide useful access to digital archives a century from now. This challenge is coupled with the progressive digitisation of our heritage collections and the continuing conservation of unique print and documentary materials.
Easy information access demands intuitive online systems that take people to the information they require, enable use of the information, stimulate new connections and knowledge, and help people decide what is relevant and what is important.